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The Warsaw Voice » Other » November 19, 2008
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In brief
November 19, 2008   
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Polish Archeologists in Ukrainian Dig

Archeologists from the National Museum in Warsaw have uncovered parts of Byzantine buildings and infrastructure on the site of the ancient city of Tyritake, where the Ukrainian city of Kerch stands today.

The project is known as "The City of Tyritake on the Bosphorus." In July and August, the archeologists uncovered a courtyard paved with stone tiles, a street, a drainage canal, and the remains of walls enclosing a rectangle. What the discoveries mean will be known once all the finds are examined.

"It is very rare that, in such a short time and during a dig's first season, archeologists have been able to uncover such significant finds," says Alfred Twardecki, the archeological team leader.

"The City of Tyritake on the Bosphorus" is a Ukrainian project to unearth this ancient city, founded in the middle of the 6th century B.C. and sited on the strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The Ukrainian archeological team also plans to carry out conservation work and to reconstruct some of the buildings to create an archeological park.


IMD Disease on the Rise

Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) has become more common in Poland in recent years, affecting families, infants, and soldiers confined in barracks. Some experts are calling for mandatory vaccinations to prevent an epidemic.

Currently, almost 50 percent of IMD cases in Poland are type C. Small children are the most prone to this disease. However, the largest number of cases have been found among young people aged 15-19 years.

According to Dr. Ryszard Konior, from the neuroinfection and neurology ward at the John Paul II Children's Specialist Hospital in Cracow, there was a greater number of IMD cases diagnosed in Poland last year than in previous years.

Research into the genotypes of the bacteria that have caused the disease in the last two years has revealed the presence of the most invasive forms of IMD. Diseases of this type are exceptionally serious and carry an almost 27-percent risk of death, doctors say. In view of the gravity of the situation, experts say it is necessary to introduce vaccinations against meningococcus C for children and young people, particularly those living in endemic areas and for those at greatest risk, such as children in orphanages, nurseries and boarding schools, students in college accommodation, and soldiers in barracks.

Doctors say that the situation requires constant and careful monitoring to prevent epidemics. Should the number of diagnosed cases, currently 1.1 for every 100,000 people, continue to rise, it is possible that in the near future a meningococcal C vaccination will become mandatory.

Of all the meningococcal strains, the two that are the most common and lethal are sepsis and meningitis. These diseases are common all over the world and either appear sporadically or in the form of small epidemics in endemic areas. Large epidemics have also been known. The cause is the neisseria meningitidis bacteria, also simply known as meningococcus. There are 13 strains of meningococcus, which are differentiated based on the chemical composition of their polysaccharide capsule. Five of the strains are known to cause disease.

In Poland, as in other European countries, meningococcus B is the most common cause of illness. However, the number of patients suffering from disease caused by meningococcus C has been gradually on the rise for the last five years.

Tadeusz Belerski
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